The story of a young woman adapting to sight loss and physical disability, Rose is a powerful new work by writer Christine Diment that plays Lighthouse on Thursday 30 March as part of a tour of the South-West.
Written in collaboration with Lyme Regis artist Kitty Waldron, the play is intensely personal and was developed in part at Lighthouse in a week’s residency under the Sanctuary artist development scheme as well as in sharing performances at Exeter Fringe and Salisbury Fringe.
“Kitty wanted to tell her story through a third party,” explains Christine. “Through the writing process, which during Covid lockdowns was all online of course, we created this character Rose who finds love with a young man called Matt who exists on the fringes of society. He has tattoos and piercings and a Mohican haircut that might repel people, but of course Rose doesn’t see that. She just loves the person.”
Will Matt lead Rose astray or set her on the path to success?
Christine has also been working with a group of mainly first-time performers from Dorset Blind Association’s Poole group – who meet informally every week at Lighthouse – as they prepare to share their work in a special performance for family and friends at Lighthouse.
“Because the play of Rose focuses on blindness and disability, I was put in touch with Moira Kopanycia-Reynolds from Dorset Blind Association who supports the Poole group. I was keen to run some writing and acting workshops with this group. The response was excellent.
“We’ve found many of the themes we uncovered in Rose – school, love, vulnerability, fragility – are echoed in the stories that have emerged from the group.”
The workshops run by Christine with Anna Takashima and Charmaine K Parkin (director of Rose) will result in Blind Date, a revue-style show of music, drama and spoken word performances on Tuesday 28 March in the Sherling Studio at Lighthouse.
“One of the group has written a piece in rhythmic verse about the impact losing his sight had on his life. We’ll present it with a percussion backing. Another member of the group, Jackie Bacon, plays the piano and she’ll accompany a monologue that has been written about a special day out in which they met Russell Watson at a concert.
“Then there’s Justin Sellick, who plays mandolin and does a humorous impersonation of a philosopher, and there’s a lovely piece about the power of love – the idea that love helps them through this difficult change in their life. Despite the difficulties experienced by those in the group, there is a huge range of talent and creative ideas coming forward and it is so inspiring to work together.
“It wasn’t what we set out to do, but it seems we are creating a legacy for Rose.”
Sam Baker, Dorset Blind Association’ Community Relations Officer, adds: “Dorset Blind Association is thrilled to be working with Christine and Lighthouse on this project. Our members enjoy the process immensely. Drama therapy is a valuable and unique way of processing problems and emotions, and has produced some marvellous work.”
Rose directed by Charmaine K Parkin with Anna Scutt as Rose and Jake Baker as Matt will be on at the Sherling Studio at Lighthouse on 30 March at 8pm
Blind Date, the Dorset Blind Association Showcase will be on at the Sherling Studio on 28 March.
- If you would like to support Dorset Blind Association by volunteering or in support of their services, then please contact Sam Baker at email@example.com or call 01202 712865.